Paul Haynes (paulhaynes1955)

6 answers · asked · LiveStream: Class Wrap - BC1-1908

[FOLLOW UP] Creating Normal Maps in Blender

blanchsb, theluthier 

Shawn had asked a question during this stream about whether Blender could be used to create normal maps. I later ran across the linked course by jlampel explaining how to do it in 2.79 but I think it still applies to 2.8. I haven't viewed the entire course yet but the few videos that I did watch pan out in 2.8 as well.

Normal Map Modelling For Games


  • crew

    Hey Paul, that course should still be about the same in 2.8! If you find any way in which the change throws you off, just let me know. 

  • ppaulhaynes1955 Thank you for the followup! This will be awesome to have in my tool belt. I will add it to my watch list.

  • crew

    Maybe I misunderstood the question during the stream. I thought the question was "can Blender convert black and white bump maps to normal maps easily / with nodes?" We can definitely bake normal maps from geometry as well as bake black and white bumps to normal maps but it's not an ideal conversion process imo. Often I find myself with a black and white map wishing I could convert it to a normal map with a simple node which currently isn't possible as far as I know.

    • You can convert black & white maps to normal maps with Substance Designer, it’s like Blender nodes on steroids 😎 also the amount of procedural noises and grunge is insane

      I know the teacher in you avoids other software but maybe you should try it for a personal project sometime, you can get an one month trial for free 😉

    • crew

      You can convert black & white maps to normal maps with Substance Designer

      I haven't tried this myself, but I'm pretty sure it's doing the same as Blender's bump node. There's just no way to get 3D  information out of 2D information! Not without making a whole lot of assumptions, which may work for plugging into a normal map socket, but it won't be functionally different than a bump map beyond the slightly slower performance.